Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Wag the Blog: Debating Iran in Iowa

Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.), the two leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, for the past few days have been engaged in a pitched fight in Iowa over the future of American foreign policy toward Iran.

Clinton struck first with a direct-mail piece to Iowa Democrats over the weekend that included a letter explaining why she voted for a Senate proposal that designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization.

"I was in the Senate that day, and was about to vote 'no' on this legislation because it had language that President Bush could have used to justify military action against Iran," Clinton wrote in the letter. "Working together, Senate Democrats reached across party lines to remove those sections. Only then did I and a lot of other Democrats vote for the resolution in order to pressure Iran by clearing the way for sanctions and pushing the President to get them to the negotiating table."

Obama, sensing an opening, sent out a mail piece of his own this week. "Barack Obama is the ONLY major candidate for president to oppose both the Iraq War from the very start and the Senate amendment that raises the risk of war with Iran," reads the piece.

Here's what we know about Iran and Iowa. Clinton was concerned enough about the hits she was taking from Obama and former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) to send out a mailing seeking to put her vote in context. Obama, on the other hand, knows his Iran attack isn't an entirely clean blow (he skipped the vote, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, an Obama endorser, voted with Clinton) but sees it as an opening -- at long last -- to tie Clinton's vote in favor of the 2002 use of force resolution against Iraq to the future of American foreign policy.

For today's Wag the Blog, we want to know who you think made the right strategic move. Does Clinton look defensive or simply savvy to shore up a potential weak spot? Is Obama desperately looking for any chance to close the polling gap or smartly taking advantage of a rare Clinton gaffe?

As always, the most insightful, on-topic comments will be featured in a post of their own later this week.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 24, 2007; 10:50 AM ET
Categories:  Wag The Blog  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: FixCam on Location: A Closer Look at Indiana
Next: Neb. Senate: Kerrey's Out, Who's Next?

Comments

I didn't know you were actually asking a question. It looked to me like you were trying to make some broad poetic/rhetorical point. I realized you were no longer worth engaging.

USMC_Mike is one of my email addresses, just as qzqzqzqz is aparently yours. Is it always your tactic to attack people personally, or has this just been a hell of a week for you?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | October 26, 2007 9:00 AM | Report abuse

George W. Bush doesn't need permission from Congress to attack Iran. He is the decider and the Bush/Cheney duo feel no compulsion or obligation to consult Congress about such "national security " matters. HRC is trying to cover her bases, like other members of Congress who have demonstrated their inability to curtail W.
Obama is a man of principle, but he is being submarined by the Clinton folk. This is one Democrat that will not vote for HRC in the Primary. I am counting on the Iowans to lead the real movement for change in America.

Posted by: CarmanK | October 25, 2007 8:10 PM | Report abuse

USMC_Mike
I notice that you did not reply to my question (Posted by: qzqzqzqz | October 24, 2007 12:22 PM) following your response (Posted by: USMC_Mike | October 24, 2007 12:02 PM).

BTW why do you attach USMC to your moniker? Do you think it gives you extra patriotic credentials? Do you know that two of the greatest patriots in our history, John Wayne and Sylvester Stallone, found excuses to not serve in wars when they were required to? All it takes to be a great patriot is to be good at hating the enemy of the moment, you do not have to attach USMC (real or imagined) if you can show enough hate.

Posted by: MillsLover | October 25, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Mark --

I remember reading about your 5 types of R's but never saw how you categorized the D's.

I wish the "religious right" never became a force in politics, though I am devoutly Catholic and adamently pro-life.

You remind me a lot of my fiance. She supported Edwards in the last go-around, because she "thought he was the kind of guy the country needed at the time. This time she is looking at the Huckster (and to a lesser degree, Romney -- which of course excites me in comparison).

She may have more common ground in terms of policy beliefs with Hillary, but she can't get past her scripted/rigid/power-hungry character.

That said, I agree with you about strength of character, although I can't see it carrying me into the blue in the forseeable future.

Maybe in a pre or post Islamo-Fascist world.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | October 25, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

bsimon-
Good question about when the economy will gain more prominence as an issue. I wonder whether it will happen before the Iowa caucus. The author of a recent study of the Midwest economy said that "Iowa is one of several Midwestern states where the housing market has been on a relatively even keel, as opposed to the boom-and-bust cycle seen in states with larger metropolitan areas." And apparently the Iowa economy continues to see real benefits from strong corn prices. So Iowa may not be as concerned as other states are about the continued deflation of the housing bubble or related issues. In that case, the economic issues that have salience in Iowa may continue to be healthcare, SCHIP, etc. On those, we've seen the President and House Republicans oppose new funding while requesting far larger amounts to continue the war. How will the candidates' health care plans fare if one of them inherits a conflict with Iran and $125-per-barrel oil along with the presidency?

Posted by: LACinDC | October 25, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

LACinDC-
You make a good point. I'll expand it to a question of when will the economy enter the race as a political issue? People paying close attention have started to see more voices questioning the stability of the current US economy. While a quick scan shows a DOW near all time highs & low unemployment, more in depth analysis implies the foundation might be shaky. There are certain voices that argue the weak dollar will help US mfrs by opening export markets to them, but other voices see the slowing of US Treasury sales as being a big problem.

Back to Obama & HRC. The argument that LACinDC proposes is a complicated one that doesn't boil down to a soundbite very well. But it is an important point to make. Is the current - very expensive - approach to fighting extremists the best way to do so? Or are there better - cheaper - alternatives involving more diplomacy that don't involve such a huge risk to our economy?

Posted by: bsimon | October 25, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

The latest Rasmussen poll in Iowa has Biden at 4% behind Clinton (33%), Edwards (22%), Obama (21%), and Richardson (9%).

Polling doesn't seem to indicate that Biden is going to make a surprise showing in Iowa.

As a point of reference, in October '04 Kerry was polling around 18% nationally, whereas Biden has about 2% now. Little to do with state polling but I can't seem to find archived Iowa polling.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 25, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

The President's announcement today provides an important new element to this story. By designating the Quds forces, rather than the entire revolutionary guard, as a terrorist organization, the Bush Administration has taken a position that is even narrower than the Senate resolution that Clinton supported.

But to really get the most out of this issue, Obama needs to tie it to the economic concerns of the blue collar voters who seem to be leaning toward Clinton at the moment. Obama can make the case, even more strongly than yesterday, that by acting more concerned about the politics of appearing strong on defense than the important nuances of the resolutions she has supported, Clinton has written, and continues to write, the president a blank check. He then needs to take the issue one step further, and point out that if the President sides with the hawks in his administration again, that check will be spent on another costly war -- at the expense of childrens' health care and other priorities at home. Perhaps that's too far a leap, but the point is that Obama should be using even these issues to break into Clinton's blue-collar support rather than just to stir the anti-war elite who are already behind him.

Posted by: LACinDC | October 25, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

snstogether writes
"I'm an Iowa native, I caucus and I'm here to tell you that we will never give either Clinton or Obama a win in Iowa. Biden is clearly the choice for this nation."

sns, can you explain why the polls don't back up your statement? Obviously the Oct 2003 polls didn't predict Kerry winning; but I'm curious if you have any insight into why current polls don't even show Biden in the top 3 yet (as far as I've seen anyway) in Iowa.

Posted by: bsimon | October 25, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Good choice, snstogether! I second Mark's comment.

Incidentally, Biden showed good judgement and voted against the Iran resolution.

Posted by: urban4 | October 25, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Dave, I buy 2B, but I still can't lay to rest my suspicions of the conflict of interest that the administration has with the defense and oil industries. Do these conflicts of interest tip the cost/benefit balance of an attack on Iran?

In the news today, Condi Rice announces economic sanctions angainst Iran.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15622446
And so the escalation of hostile acts continue...

Posted by: urban4 | October 25, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

snstogether, I hope you can convince your caucus of what you and I consider to be the obvious merits of JB.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 25, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

urban4,
"2. They seriously want to promote national security, but are completely oblivious of the consequences." I actually pick 2B - they want to promote national security, are aware of the consequences, but think the benefits outweigh them. Don't take that to mean that I think they are right. As for number 1, the last person to call GWB's bluff is dead. As for #3, I feel safe in saying that Iraq has proven that being capable of bombing does not translate into a demonstration of strength.

Posted by: dave | October 25, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

"...who you think made the right strategic move." Following up on my last thought, it is distressing that both of them are in a position where they have to make votes based on what they need to do during the election and not what is necessarily best for the country. They are both kind of pinned into voting a certain way - Hillary because she needs to continue the "strong on foreign policy" appearance and Obama because he is the "anti-war" candidate. Even if it were in the best interest of the country to vote against their position, they probably wouldn't.

Posted by: dave | October 25, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I'm an Iowa native, I caucus and I'm here to tell you that we will never give either Clinton or Obama a win in Iowa. Biden is clearly the choice for this nation.

Posted by: snstogether | October 25, 2007 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Apologies for contributing more questions than answers, but does it matter to the politics if there is a compelling policy or legal case against the resolution?

The news reports have recounted solid evidence that certain elements of the Quds Forces have supported terrorism and are appropriately labeled as terrorists themselves. But labeling the entire Quds Forces a terrorist organization would require a theory that could easily be turned against us. For example, providing explosively formed projectiles to be used against US soldiers is unquestionably hostile, but how is it different from the CIA providing stinger missiles to the Afghan resistance against the Soviets? We should not advance overbroad definitions of terrorism that encompass types of hostile, but not terrorist, acts that our own government has legitimately taken against our enemies. It's okay to vote for a resolution that condemns Iran. Just not a dumb resolution that's overbroad and could be used to justify hostile countries treating our special forces or intelligence agents as terrorists.

Posted by: LACinDC | October 24, 2007 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Aggie Mike, I replied to your 7:20P at 8:07P.

Did anyone else hear the story about the three Marines on "All Things Considered?"

Blarg and AggieMike, I find it difficult to characterize American "liberals" and "conservatives" but pretty easy to ID the different kinds of Rs and the different kinds of Ds, which I offered here months ago. I know that depending on the character of the individual I could vote for a small govt./strong military R or a Blue Dog D, rather easily. My least favorite Ds are the self proclaimed "populists" and my least favorite Rs are both the social/religious conservatives and the neocons.

There may be American "liberals" who support Marxism - I had a professor in 1963 who did, and he thought he was a liberal.
There may be conservatives who agree on equality of opportunity, but that would not have described John Paul Getty, who thought
that we should vote according to wealth.

I suspect most Americans are not like that old Marxist and not like John Paul Getty. They believe in equality of opportunity and would not even understand the phrase "equality of condition". I know that my strongest disagreement with AggieMike, beside his choice of alumni association, has been our conflicting views of where the bright line between the establishment clause and the free exercise clause should be drawn.

Just my $.02.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 24, 2007 11:08 PM | Report abuse

"...who you think made the right strategic move."

They both did because it's apples and oranges. Clinton is working on her post-primary strategy, with the thought that with her poll numbers as they are, she can afford the hit she'll take during the primaries and this will benefit her during the general election cycle by potraying her as strong on defense. Being a Democrat and a woman, this is a must. Obama needs to make traction and soon. As a very distant second with time running out to make a move, he needs to focus in on gaining ground now. His calculation is that any opportunity that allows for highlighting differences on the war is his best (and only) chance to become competitive. Because the war is the main issue, especially among libs, this should help him during the primaries.

Posted by: dave | October 24, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

claudialong,
"Again, if she's so liberal, why are so many defense contractors donating to her campaign?" Hedging their bets? She is the clear frontrunner. Contributing to the next POTUS makes good business sense. Believe it or not, defense contractors need to continue to stay in business even during Democratic administrations.

Posted by: dave | October 24, 2007 10:41 PM | Report abuse

mibrooks27,
The H1B is news to me. I have worked on several DoD contracts over the last 10 years or so and in every case you had to be a US citizen to work on them. That was the first qualifier for hiring someone. I'm not saying there are not loopholes, I am saying I have not seen it.

Posted by: dave | October 24, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Piper190, I agree that Kurds should have a right to self determination. Iran and Syria are unlikely to give up territory without force, but Turkey is being pressured by the EU as a part of entry negotiations to recognize Kurdish minority rights. Given the high-strung and actively encouraged nationalistic sentiments in Turkey, I'm not sure how far EU pressure will go.

Posted by: urban4 | October 24, 2007 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I've never heard it mentioned in the context of the runup to the Iran War, but the issue of large unfavored minority Kurdish populations in Iran and Syria leads me to believe that any "regime change" type assault on Iran would have to lead to an independent Kurdistan, what with Iraqi Kurdistan being the most successful of Iraq's sections and the long-term historical denial of self-determination for the Kurds.

This Kurdistan could likely absorb parts of Iran, Turkey and Syria as others have noted. As a Jew I personally support the right of Kurds to self-determination. But Turkey might have something else to say about it.

Its really about time to start thinking seriously and critically about the myriad of undesirable consequences that are likely to arise from increased military engagement with Iran. Even hard-line NeoCon Norman Podhorertz admits that IN THE BEST CASE SCENARIO air strikes can set back Iran's nuclear program 5-15 years. He thinks that's good enough.

I think the rewards aren't anywhere close to outweighing the risks. And I don't want my grandchildren to have to pay for it.

Posted by: piper190 | October 24, 2007 9:37 PM | Report abuse

On government voices promoting the use of military force to prevent Iran from going nuclear I see three possible motivations.
1. They are buffing to influence Iran's behavior.
This will just lead to threats and counter-threats.
2. They seriously want to promote national security, but are completely oblivious of the consequences.
3. They don't care about our national security, but think that bombing Iran will make us look strong, and will benefit the military-industrial complex and US oil companies.

Posted by: urban4 | October 24, 2007 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Mark, the Frontline coverage is excellent. It seems that there is more balanced reporting than before the Iraq invasion. But there is just no telling whether Bush will decide to bomb Iran within the next year. US administration and think tank representatives interviewed on the progam seem to think that it is good idea and a plausible course of action.

Still no material evidence for Iran providing material support to insurgents in Iraq. This is like WMD in Iraq. Everybody talks profusely about it, with no evidence shown. With all the raids that the US forces are performing, how come that not a single explosive or gun have been produced to show evidence?

Posted by: urban4 | October 24, 2007 8:27 PM | Report abuse

JD - You're a real scumbag. You have no love of this country and no concern for it's future nor for the problems you cuase for your fellow citizens. You are no better than Bush, no different than Bush - a brainless, a brainless perpetual PR machines with the morals of a dog.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 24, 2007 8:10 PM | Report abuse

USMC Mike - The program led me to believe that we had missed two opportunities to strengthen the hand of the moderates in Iran and that the crazies gained the upper hand in some part b/c the USA presented no reason for the elctorate to believe we were interested in peaceful relations, even after Iran had helped us in Afghanistan.

On another point, "All Things Considered" had a feature tonight in drive time about three absolutely heroic Marines who re-upped voluntarily to help Petraeus stabilize Iraq.

Their service is incredible, and their story reminded me of why I was so offended by the ridicule of Petraeus before he testified.

Hope many of you heard it. You do not have to feel compelled to write that the story does not "prove" Iraq is making significant progress. I merely celebrate the service and brilliance of these young Marines, and hope they come back alive and well to continue contributing to society.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 24, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Mike, you're the one that brought up Communism. You said that liberals like Hillary Clinton because she used to be a Marxist. Because apparently you associate liberalism with Communism. You also associate it with hating the military. As for flag-burning, that may not have been you; it may have been someone else named Mike. If it wasn't you, I apologize. But you can't deny that you just equated liberalism and Communism.

Your "opinion" on why liberals like Clinton is ludicrous. It's based on a series of right-wing talking points, and a fundamental misunderstanding of both Hillary's political positions and the political positions of liberals. The fact that you don't see anything wrong with logic like "Hillary hates the military, and liberals hate the military, so liberals must like Hillary!" shows that this isn't a conversation worth having.

Posted by: Blarg | October 24, 2007 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Rare gaffe? Surely you are drinking koolaid.
Hillary herself is a gaffe of the press.
While all the other candidates have gotten where they are by their hard work and talent, Hillary is only a serious candidate because she married Bill. she is running and being given favored treatment by the press on her name and not on her own ability. that is because Hillary has a track record of failures and poor judgment. she spent her first term doing nothing of any note.
she got that term from being married to Bill and that he cheated on her.
Obama, by being an extreemly gifted man with a deep intellect has been bashed by the press daily the same that hillary has been given glowing press and a free pass.
Harry Reid betrayed obama by telling him that vote would not be coming for quit awhile. So, Obama goes campaigning and Reid puts on the floor and an immediate vote for Hillary. and Hillary screwed up again. Again she showed her famous lack of judgment.
But, instead of you guys calling her on it, again you guys give her a pass and again you bash Obama because he is going after her for another bad call.
Maybe if you guys had not propped up the queen and promoted her daily as walking on water but, presented her as she really is: An arrogant person with bad judgment and conceit who is trading on nepotism.
And rather than always bashing this truly gifted man you guys would present him as he really is.
but, then, that is the point. to promote another relation who has a track record of failures and bad judgment as the shining second coming for America like the media did with Bush. and to succeed you have to drag down Obama, the far superior candidate.

Posted by: vwcat | October 24, 2007 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Blarg --

Let me get this straight.

It's not OK for me to have an opinion about why I think HRC is 20-30 points ahead of Obama, despite declaring Iranians terrorists or interviewing on Fox News Sunday or any other moderate/against the liberal grain action.

But it IS OK for you to define my opinion about liberalism -- flag burning and communism.

Isn't there a disconnect there?

I think liberals believe in equality of condition, while conservatives believe in equality of opportunity.

I don't think equality of condition is an evil or morally condemnable beleif, but that it is impractical, can never work, and misaligns incentives [and in some ways is violently unfair].

So, back to my original point. I think most Democrats are willing to forgive HRC for being moderate because they assume she is already the general election candidate.

Blarg, I base that on many things, including chats with some liberal friends. If you and your friends feel otherwise, it doesn't make me a scoundrel.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | October 24, 2007 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Mark -- what do you think about the un-replied-to fax? You have an uncanny ability to conceal your opinion.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | October 24, 2007 7:20 PM | Report abuse

PS I accept your apologies in advance mibrooks

Posted by: JD | October 24, 2007 7:18 PM | Report abuse

"Minutes from a House Judiciary Committee hearing concerning the Chinese government infiltrating spies using the H1-B program."

Um..this was a very general piece - nothing specific backing up any of your claims....

"An article concering the whole theft of information by H1-B workers"

again nothing specific about any thefts, just fears that they could happen (raised by the AFL-CIO, clearly not an objective 3rd party...)

"Minutes from a House Intelliugence Committee hearing with essentially the same information."

Fears that Chinese front companies are taking info back home to momma.

"And, finally, a web site from a group of displaced U.S. hi tech workers listing some ignored facts about guest workers."

You've gotta be kidding me! LOL, this was a very funny site, a bunch of whiners complaining that they lost their jobs to the H1B program.

******************************

OK, I'm going to use this as a teaching moment, folks. There are many radicals now posting to this blog that make outlandish claims, then either never post the backup or post backup that doesn't directly support their claims.

If you make claims that classified information regarding weapons systems was stolen by either a company or a rogue nation-state, it seems to me it'd have made the press.

If your problem is that there's a great possibility that Chinese H1B workers are bringing back general espionage info back to their country, I can certainly buy that - but it's a huge leap to go from that to selling F-14s (which isn't a very advanced plane anyway, you should know that as an intel officer as you claim to be).

So what's your solution? Ban the H1B visa program for all countries, companies, and industries? OK, think there's a small chance that might accelerate the pace of outsourcing and offshoring?

Posted by: JD | October 24, 2007 7:15 PM | Report abuse

urban4, The website has the essence of the show. Here is an excerpt:

A few weeks after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, a strange document arrived in Washington. It came as a fax, on plain paper, from the Swiss ambassador in Tehran.

The fax laid out the terms for a "grand bargain" -- in essence a peace treaty between the U.S. and Iran. It put everything on the table: Iran's support for terrorism, its nuclear program, even its hostility towards Israel. In exchange, Iran asked Washington for security guarantees, an end to sanctions and a promise never to push for regime change.

Iran's reformists were again trying to reach out to Washington, as they had after 9/11 (see Chapter 2 of the film). But the State Department thought Khatami's reformist government was politically weak and promising more than it could deliver. And the White House, newly victorious in Iraq, saw no need to negotiate with Iran. The fax never received a reply.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 24, 2007 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I wish I did, Mark, what's the scoop?

Posted by: urban4 | October 24, 2007 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Again, did anybody else see "Frontline" last night?

It was about Iran...

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 24, 2007 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Yep, Mibrooks, with the present congress and WH we don't have much chance of preventing the slide down the slippery slope to WWIII. It's over a year until the next president takes office. Can we make it whithout further wars?

Posted by: urban4 | October 24, 2007 6:26 PM | Report abuse

urban4, Claudia hits the nail right on the head. She doesn't mention that Syria has a sizeable Kurdish population,too...but it does! The PKK isn't the only Kurdish group seeking independence from Turkey. They aren't even the largest. They were a part of the original "Kurdistan" that was recognized by the old Soviet Union back in the 1960's, you you have red baiting and communists along with Islamo-facists causing Dick Cheney to hide under his bed. One thing about this conflict, no matter what your paranoia, there is something here for everyone. Looks like WWIII more every day.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 24, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Claudia, thanks for the info on Kurdish activities along the Iranian border. It looks like we are already fighting a war of proxies against Iran by supporting the Kurds and Iran fighting back by supporting Shiite militias.

Posted by: urban4 | October 24, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse

LACinDC, Exactly! Both Turkey and Iran have significant Kurdish minorities.
Turkey 14-18 million
Iran 4.8-6.6 million
Iraq 4-6 million.
What I haven't seen discussed in the media is a severe repression of Kurds in both Turkey and Iran. Up to 1991 speaking Kurdish was illegal in Turkey, and in 1979 Khomeini declared "holy war" against the Kurds. For Turkey and Iran PKK are terrorists, for the Kurds they are freedom fighters for a unified Kurdistan.
With a virtually independent Kurdish military in Iraq (armed by US), both the Turkish and Iranian military amassing at the border the whole place is a tinderbox. A sure recipe for the regional expansion of the Iraq war.

The Iran resolution just adds a new dimension to these tensions. I don't know what Reid was thinking in letting it go through. Kudos to Biden for voting against it. Lack of judgement for both HRC and Dodd. And Obama, unfortunately can't speak up with authority, because he was missing in action.

Posted by: urban4 | October 24, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Mike, the point I'm making is that you obviously know nothing about what liberals believe, as demonstrated by your ridiculous list of what liberals would like about Hillary. (And your past lists of liberal beliefs, which were heavy on flag-burning and Communism, as I recall.) So you should stop claiming to speak for liberals.

I didn't "forget" healthcare. I already said that Hillary's big healthcare plan is less of a change to the current system than the plans supported by her more liberal rivals for the candidacy. It relies heavily on the existing insurance industry and doesn't provide coverage for everyone in a meaningful way. It's better than the status quo, but liberal healthcare activists are more likely to support Hillary's opponents based on their stronger plans.

As for her supposed disrespect for the military, what is there to respond to? Your "proof", her supposed refusal to allow military uniforms in the White House, was debunked back in 1993. And even if she absolutely despised the military, what does that have to do with anything? You only brought it up in the context of your continuing misrepresentation of liberal beliefs, so it's meaningless.

Posted by: Blarg | October 24, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

bsimon -- here seems to be the deal with Iran and the Kurds:

'Yet out of the public eye, a chillingly similar battle has been under way on the Iraqi border with Iran. Kurdish guerrillas ambush and kill Iranian forces and retreat to their hide-outs in Iraq. The Americans offer Iran little sympathy. Tehran even says Washington aids the Iranian guerrillas, a charge the United States denies. True or not, that conflict, like the Turkish one, has explosive potential.

The guerrillas from the Party for Free Life in Kurdistan, or P.J.A.K., have been waging a deadly insurgency in Iran and they are an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, known as the P.K.K., the Kurdish guerrillas who fight Turkey.

Like the P.K.K., the Iranian Kurds control much of the craggy, boulder-strewn frontier and routinely ambush patrols on the other side. But while the Americans call the P.K.K. terrorists, guerrilla commanders say P.J.A.K. has had "direct or indirect discussions" with American officials. They would not divulge any details of the discussions or the level of the officials involved, but they noted that the group's leader, Rahman Haj-Ahmadi, visited Washington last summer.'

By the way, Fox News had a friendly chat with the PJAK recently...

Posted by: drindl | October 24, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2005_hr/hhrg109-58.html
Minutes from a House Intelliugence Committee hearing with essentially the same information.

And, finally, a web site from a group of displaced U.S. hi tech workers listing some ignored facts about guest workers.
http://www.zazona.com/ShameH1B/

And, JD, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton are part OWNERS of a company that actively promotes the displacement of U.S. workers with H1-B guest workers! Senator Edward Kennedy, in the recently defeated immigration bill, inserted a provision to remove all ceiling from the allowed number of H1-B workers.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 24, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse


http://www.heritage.org/Research/AsiaandthePacific/hl907.cfm
A 2005 article on how foreitgn government, mainlky China and India, use guest worker visas to steal technlogy and some cases..

Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 24, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse


http://www.emergency.com/h1bprgm.htm
An article concering the whole theft of information by H1-B workers

Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 24, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

JD, This site wont allow me to post more than one citation at a time. So, I am breakuing up my attempted comments and cites.
JD - I know you're just playing game, but I'll post a couple of refernces so that others can read them.

http://judiciary.house.gov/OversightTestimony.aspx?ID=455
Minutes from a House Judiciary Committee hearing concerning the Chinese government infiltrating spies using the H1-B program.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 24, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

LACinDC writes
"My question is how this issue plays if Iran starts shelling the Kurdish border the way that Turkey did today."

A good question. I know that Iran & the Kurds don't quite get along. Have the Kurds yet stuck their thumb in the eye of Iran - the way they did by kidnapping Turkish soldiers recently? Even then, I think we'll let Turkey get away with more than we would Iran - and Iran knows that. I'm guessing here, but suspect that Iran would have to retaliate much more subtly if the Kurds chose to provoke, which itself is questionable, given that they'd be opening themselves to a two-front conflict.

Posted by: bsimon | October 24, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I brought up Rudy saying that he was a liberal while Mayor of NY because that is far more pertinent than an essay written while she was in college. She is not a liberal, by an definition that anyone who calls him/her self would recognize.

Again, if she's so liberal, why are so many defense contractors donating to her campaign?

Posted by: drindl | October 24, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I am sure every human being here is. Rush Limbaugh is not, since the fires are "exaggerated" and anyway only "liberals who hate America" are "seeing their homes burn."

Duncan Hunter would be surprised by this. Also Duke Cunningham. Their districts are now states of emergency. Maybe Rush doesn't know SoCal is a John Birch hotbed.

'claudialong -- in the same breath after criticizing a R for implying you are unpatriotic for not supporting the war,'

that wasn't me. I simply said that it is a scientific consensus around the world -- the vast majority of scientists -- beleive that the earth is warming. There is a great deal of empirical evidence -- meltdown of the polar icecaps, etc. and yes, it does seem ignorant to me to ignore all the evidence there is.

Posted by: drindl | October 24, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

No, Obama is not "desperately looking for any chance to close the polling gap." His campaign knows how long 10 weeks, or even 10 days, is in Iowa politics. Just one week before the Iowa caucuses in 2004, the two frontrunners (that would be Dean and Gephardt) were battling it out over Iraq votes. The race in Iowa stood at Dean 28, Gephardt 23, Kerry 17, and Edwards 14. Fix readers know the rest of the story. (Kerry 38, Edwards 32, Dean 18, Gephardt 11) Clinton's level of support is more solid than Dean's, but the fluidity of support just among the other 3 for one week in 2004 dwarfs any small Iowa polling gap that exists today.

My question is how this issue plays if Iran starts shelling the Kurdish border the way that Turkey did today.

Posted by: LACinDC | October 24, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

The point I was making was that I would prefer for my opinion to not be met with personal attacks. I am criticizing your style more than anything. I think it's perfectly ok for you to disagree with me, and I don't doubt what you have said about you and your friends is true.

You conveniently forgot healthcare, and you still have given me no basis to believe you regarding HRC's distrust/discomfort of the military. Am I to even continue this conversation with you?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | October 24, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

urban4--"Roo, do you know who was behind rescheduling the Iran resolution? It is sure very convenient for HRC that Obama wasn't there."

In some ways convenient. If her vote had been less stupid "I stood up to Bush, Obama was carousing in Iowa"--I would be more inclined to believe in that type of a conspiracy.

As things stand, though, I am simply assuming that the Republicans wanted as many Nay-voters out as possible.

Posted by: roo | October 24, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

mibrooks, I had a real snarky comment all tee'd up before the WaPo's primitive web software lost the response. So, maybe that's a message that I need to show more pity on you rather than engage in a flame war.

OK. Here goes.

#1 - no H1B workers at my company. Never had 'em, never will.

#2 - please post the cite (3rd request now) where the H1B workers stole the classified information your referenced. If it's 'all over the web', this exercise will take you 5 seconds.

Posted by: JD | October 24, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Mike, I never said that I represent the opinions of all liberals. I said that I am a liberal, and that I've talked to other liberals both in real life and online. (Presumably they're equivalent to Ann Coulter somehow; though I don't get the connection.) Then I presented my findings on what those liberals say about Hillary Clinton.

You, on the other hand, said that all liberals must like her. Then you justified it with a bunch of lies about how she was a Marxist and banned military uniforms. You've proven repeatedly that you don't understand liberals; you can only repeat the usual smears about how they're unpatriotic Communists. You have no right to talk about what liberals think.

Hillary Clinton is not a liberal, even by modern American standards. She's a moderate Democrat. She's possibly the most conservative Democrat in the presidential race, competing only with Biden. And she isn't popular with liberal voters. I know that the right likes to pretend that all Democrats are the second coming of Chairman Mao, but just because you lie about it doesn't make it true.

Posted by: Blarg | October 24, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

roo -- I don't read media matters, and I don't listen to Rush.

claudialong -- in the same breath after criticizing a R for implying you are unpatriotic for not supporting the war, you seek to imply that anyone who is skeptical about the evidence for man-made global warming is "choosing not to believe science" -- aka, ignorant. Don't you think that is a contradiction?

And why are you so willing to brush aside something HRC has done that indicates who she really is? Your cavalier attitude towards facts and truth is yet another contradiction to your so-called beleif in scientific fact and truth.

And by the way, no one mentioned Rudy. Deflecting an accusation against someone onto someone else is a 3rd grade method of argumentation.

I don't even support him, so you didn't hurt my feelings.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | October 24, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder how long before they start blaming global warming for the fires in San Diego." -USMC Mike

Funny you should mention that. From The Green Lantern over on Slate:
"...warming seems to increase the frequency of wildfires. According to a recent University of Arizona study, the length of the wildfire season has increased by roughly two and a half months since the mid-1980s, mostly due to earlier snow melts in the West. (An earlier melt means that dried, easily ignited brush spends more time lying on the ground.)"
----
"JasonL, then your ignorance knows no bounds." -mibrooks
Personal attacks. Nice start.

"only they use the school systems to indoctrinate children with everything from acceptance of homosexuality as a valid alternative lifestyle"
Actually, I think it is a valid lifestyle. Intolerance is what I'd say is not a valid alternative lifestyle. Good thing they don't teach that in most schools. Some parents seem to think that's a nice thing to pass along to future generations, though. I suppose you hate blacks, too?

"You, Loudoun, and Clausia and JasonL are simply left wing versions of Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh, every bit as intolerant and bigoted. You don't think, you merely react. You gang up on people on this and other forums that don't agree with you, as if yo were some sort of mob. You're bigots, petty and unthinking clodhoppers, who are dangerous to the continued existance of the rest of us."
Give me a break. No one's ganging up on you. It's not our fault that your bigotry is a minority viewpoint here. When someone disagrees with me I try to engage them in a civilized debate about the issues. I'm familiar with civilized debate as I am a college educated person working in government.

Maybe you could try join us in fair and honest debate instead of name calling and making baseless accusations.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 24, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Roo, do you know who was behind rescheduling the Iran resolution? It is sure very convenient for HRC that Obama wasn't there.

Posted by: urban4 | October 24, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

JD, the web is *filled* with citation of current law permitting H1-B workers to work on even top secret government contracts. It is disingenuoius, at best, for you to deny it. You admit to working as a provider of these workers so you full well know the law that grants an extention from 6 years to, 10 years for the 43% of H1-B workers doing defence related work. And, I am equally certain, you full well know of the security breaches and concerns that has resulted in. I know, you're probably making a good living, selling your country down the river, but it's still treason.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 24, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

USMCMike--"By the way, I just heard that the fires in San Diego have reached Camp Pendleton, home of 60,000 US Marines.

I hope everyone is praying for all of our fellow Californians in this extremely unfortunate time."

I am sure every human being here is. Rush Limbaugh is not, since the fires are "exaggerated" and anyway only "liberals who hate America" are "seeing their homes burn."

Posted by: roo | October 24, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

'I wonder how long before they start blaming global warming for the fires in San Diego.'

Calfiornia, like much of the West, is in the midst of a long severe drought, which yes, scientists link to global warming.

When I was a kid growing up there, 'fire season' was August and September. Now it's all year. You can choose to disbeleive science and believe rush limbaugh instead, it's your prerogative to remain ignorant if you choose.

So Hillary wrote a these about a political subject. Hey, did you now rudy Guiliani called himself a 'liberal' while he was Mayor of New York?

Posted by: drindl | October 24, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Blarg -- I can just as easily accuse you of not representing liberal democrats, but instead only representing your own personal views. And from the sound of your post, that would almost certainly seem to be the case.

That, or you're just not astute enough to recognize what HRC has done and has been doing since her 99 senate campaign, and even prior.

Since you decided to morph my post about HRC into a personal attack on me, I'll give you the choice of being wrong or ignorant.

Regarding her health care plan, I've actually read it. Don't presume to educate the readers of this blog site by quoting opinions from the equivalent of Ann Coulter on the left. I invite you to put down your summaries and actually read something.

I'd like to see this so-called debunking in 1993. (Or is this just another empty assertion that you get to throw around, while you simultaneously hold others to some standard of evidence?)

Posted by: USMC_Mike | October 24, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

"-Her college years as a Marxist'

She was President of Wellesly's Young Republicans -- but i guess they were marxists, hmm?"

By her senior year, she had left the R party and was actively campaining for anti-war Democrat Eugene McCarthy.

I suggest you read her senior thesis, about Saul Alinsky (an active communist and a man whom she met during college and became infatuated with).


"I jst saw a Fox report that the SoCal wildfires were started by 'al queda.' Right. How long before they start blaming them for earthquakes and blizzards?"

I wonder how long before they start blaming global warming for the fires in San Diego.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | October 24, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Clinton's only problem here stems from her other statements.

In her skirting the issue of the original Iraq occupation resolution she claims that she was under the impression that it would allow Bush to negotiate with Iraq AND she has said that she should not have trusted Bush.

Now she is supporting a resolution that she claims allows Bush to negotiate with Iran and she thinks we should trust Bush.

How stupid can you be?

Posted by: roo | October 24, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I have to take exception to those faulting Obama for "skipping" the vote.

Prior to leaving, he was assured that the vote would not come to the floor that day. After he had departed, the vote was scheduled.

Posted by: roo | October 24, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse


Everything he's got is from Hate Radio, blarg.

-Her college years as a Marxist'

She was President of Wellesly's Young Republicans -- but i guess they were marxists, hmm?

I jst saw a Fox report that the SoCal wildfires were started by 'al queda.' Right. How long before they start blaming them for earthquakes and blizzards?

Posted by: drindl | October 24, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

mibrooks, relax. I said I work in the industry; since you asked, for a professional services IT contractor, that supports virtually the entire fed govt including DOD.

As for my question - how did foreign nationals get access to classified info - you never answered it. I guess you don't know either. I'm not calling you a liar (unlike how you spoke to me); I'm saying that unless you address that specific issue I'm going to assume you're clueless.

I didn't know that about the H1B visa holders getting the choice about where to pay taxes. But the overarching question remains: would you rather that IT work gets offshored or done domestically? For that's the choice we have, especially when the government must perform unnatural acts just to award to other than low bidder.

Now, drop the 'tude and answer the questions, compadre

Posted by: JD | October 24, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Dolphus is one of more than 100,000 Native Americans forced by the U.S. government to attend Christian schools. The system, which began with President Ulysses Grant's 1869 "Peace Policy," continued well into the 20th century. Church officials, missionaries, and local authorities took children as young as five from their parents and shipped them off to Christian boarding schools; they forced others to enroll in Christian day schools on reservations. Those sent to boarding school were separated from their families for most of the year, sometimes without a single family visit. Parents caught trying to hide their children lost food rations.'

When you know nothing about a subject, MikeB, perhaps it's wiser to just sh*t up.

Posted by: drindl | October 24, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Just as I thought. USMC Mike doesn't know any liberals, and has never talked to any liberals about their attitude towards Hillary. Rush Limbaugh and the conservative media say that Hillary is one of those evil libs, so all the other evil libs must support her!

For instance, let's talk about healthcare. "HillaryCare 2.0", as you so wittily call it, is a giveaway to the health insurance industry. It's less of a change to the current system than those proposed by at least 3 of her opponents. Then there's the Iraq War, which Hillary voted for, and refuses to talk about how she'd end. To many liberals, her position on the war is barely different from Bush's.

By the way, that story about military uniforms being banned from the White House was first debunked in 1993. Can you at least come up with some new slander, instead of just repeating the same old lies?

Posted by: Blarg | October 24, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

USMCMike,

I just tried to call old friends in Rancho Bernardo and did not reach them. We are going to have to pray and more for SoCal.

My youngest daughter did one night of guard duty with a Marine at Pendleton when she was NROTC her freshman year at UCLA. The week that kid spent drilling with Marines made a positive lasting impression on her.

I thought HRC supported Goldwater in '64.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 24, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I lived in Sweden with my wife and children for several years. In Sweden, actually in most of Europe, our crop of candidates, our whole politcial system, would be tossed out the door. In Sweden, the overwhelming majority of the people vote and they know about their candidates and their positions on issues.

I am an Amercian. I believe in this country. I love this country and I am angry when I see left and right wing fanatics attempt to shove their nutty ideas down everyone elses throats. You, Loudoun, and Clausia and JasonL are simply left wing versions of Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh, every bit as intolerant and bigoted. You don't think, you merely react. You gang up on people on this and other forums that don't agree with you, as if yo were some sort of mob. You're bigots, petty and unthinking clodhoppers, who are dangerous to the continued existance of the rest of us.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 24, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Reasons why HRC doesn't have to prove how liberal she really is:

-Demanding an immediate end to "George Bush's [not America's] War"

-Her pledge/guarantee to raise taxes and punish the big oil companies for their success

-Her college years as a Marxist

-HillaryCare 2.0 (If you have actually read anything about it, not just some watered-down summary, you know what I'm talking about)

-Failing to condemn moveon for their NYT "General Betray Us" Ad, after a unanimous vote to confirm him [I guess his good news from Iraq was Inconvenient and he had become disposable].

My Personal Favorite:

-As First Lady, requesting that the US Marines assigned to the White House wear civilian clothes (not uniforms) becuase military uniforms make her uncomfortable.

She has nothing to prove to the liberal wing of her party (at least those who are paying attention). So does that make this vote a mistake? Of course not - she'll get a pass, as she attempts to remold herself into an "electable moderate".


By the way, I just heard that the fires in San Diego have reached Camp Pendleton, home of 60,000 US Marines.

I hope everyone is praying for all of our fellow Californians in this extremely unfortunate time.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | October 24, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

mibrooks, you have got to be the angriest person ever to post on these boards. You'll never be happy living in the US. Maybe you should try Canada or Sweden, perhaps.

Posted by: Spectator2 | October 24, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

JasonL, then your ignorance knows no bounds. You need to read some of the nonsense written by this woman. She has proposed *exactly* those sorts of programs...only they use the school systems to indoctrinate children with everything from acceptance of homosexuality as a valid alternative lifestyle to feminist ideology. You stupid clodhoppers from the Clinton camp don't even know what your nutcase candidate stands for, or, if you do, you try to hide it.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 24, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

"Those programs were the bird brained idea of LIBERALS in the Roosevelt Administration. It continued under Truman and Kennedy." -mibrooks

This whole side thing is such a BS straw man. I'm pretty sure that HRC doesn't plan to reprogram any Native Americans. It wasn't a policy she supported (being a child or not alive at the time) and really has nothing to do with her national polling.

What makes you think that the racist society we lived in before has anything to do with our more enlightened society now as regards to national polling?

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 24, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Claudia - There has never been a program in this country to forceably take children from their parents home and stick them in convents. There HAVE, right up until the 1960's, been programs to forceably take Native Amercian children from their parents homes and stick them in government run boarding schools. Those programs were the bird brained idea of LIBERALS in the Roosevelt Administration. It continued under Truman and Kennedy.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 24, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

'the same sort of mob mentality that led "liberals" to remove my grandmother from her families home and raise her in a boading school to "deprogram" her of Native Amercian values'

that happened to my great grandmother -- but she was put in a convent -- and it was the catholic church that did it -- hardly 'liberals'.

Posted by: drindl | October 24, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

archiessien - Your poll numbers show nothing more than mob mentality. Thus is the same sort of mentality that led mobs of white bigots to put on sheets and run around burning crosses on black peoples lawns, the same sort of mob mentality that led "liberals" to remove my grandmother from her families home and raise her in a boading school to "deprogram" her of Native Amercian values. Based on even a casual analysis, it is abundantly clear that CLinton supporters both don't care about her positions on issues and don't know them! It's all a bunch of emotional garbage about "it being time for a woman president". Well, the woman, in this case, is a walking diaster, and the clodhoppers supporting her are no different than the Fundimentist whack jobs that stuck us with Bush. My fear is that she will turn out to be an even worse disaster.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 24, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

archiessen writes
"Does Obama know anymore than Senator Dick Durbin or the 77 senators that voted yes to the resolution?"

I don't know if he 'knows more'. I think he has bigger balls, in voting for his convictions, rather than voting out of fear of being ridiculed as 'soft on terrorism'. Most Dems have rolled over for Pres Bush's ongoing failed policies in the MidEast precisely because of that fear, Senator Clinton being a prominent example. It is time for them to stop voting out of fear for the next campaign and start making principled stands on fixing the problems created by the current admin.

Posted by: bsimon | October 24, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Clinton made a mistake in voting for a resolution that all but gives President Bush a blank check. Even if it wasn't meant that way, that's the way he'll interpret it if he feels he needs to. But Obama also made a mistake in not being present to vote against the resolution.

Posted by: erichsen | October 24, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

demdrew writes
"If he goes after her on this issue in next week's debate, all she has to do is say that he voted on a bill that same morning, but then didn't think the Iran issue was important enough to stick around to vote on in the afternoon."

I believe you are misinformed. My understanding is that Sen Obama was led to believe that the vote would not happen that day, so he left to do some campaigning. After his departure, the resolution was brought up for a vote.

It certainly raises a valid point about whether Senators can do their jobs effectively while campaigning for a promotion, but I doubt that Clinton, Biden or Dodd will take that shot at Obama.

Posted by: bsimon | October 24, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Jason, that quote shows that Bush considers any nation who harbors terrorists to be an enemy that we should "hold to account". I know it's not official US policy, but it's certainly Bush's personal belief. And as far as Bush cares, there isn't much of a distinction between personal belief and foreign policy.

And Hillary Clinton should know this. She should know that Bush is going to use this bill (which calls Iran a protector/supplier of terrorists) as support for attacking Iran. But instead, she says that she sees the bill as support for diplomacy with Iran. She seems to be putting a lot more trust in Bush than he deserves. I just don't see how that shows good judgment on her part.

Posted by: Blarg | October 24, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Archiessien,
Obama showed a lot better judgment than the Senate on the Iraq vote. So I think he might just have better judgment.

Posted by: mcmahon10 | October 24, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Los Angeles Times Poll:

Hillary Clinton 48%

Barack Obama 17%

John Edwards 13%

The difference is clear!!!

Posted by: archiessien | October 24, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Shame on you Obama! You did not have the courage and conviction to vote because you were watching to see where the wind was blowing.
You had the opportunity to vote but you skipped the vote then you turn around to criticise those that voted. 77 senators were courageous enough to take a stand but you ducked and escaped.

Does Obama thinks he has more judgement that these 77 senators that voted yes for this resolution? Does Obama know anymore than Senator Dick Durbin or the 77 senators that voted yes to the resolution?

How about that bill that Obama co sponsored to call Iran a terrorist organization in march.

Who gave you the audacity to criticise those who cast their votes?

This is not leadership Obama, it tells me you do not have the backbone, conviction and courage to be president.

Little wonder that Clinton is leading you by an average of 30 points.

Shame on you Obama, your inexperience and naivety is being exposed everyday.

What a shame!!!

Posted by: archiessien | October 24, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

This is a lose-lose for Obama. If he goes after her on this issue in next week's debate, all she has to do is say that he voted on a bill that same morning, but then didn't think the Iran issue was important enough to stick around to vote on in the afternoon. If he doesn't go after her, he just looks like a wimp.

Kelly Garrett, Los Angeles

Posted by: demdrew | October 24, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"Second, we have made it clear to all nations, if you harbor terrorists, you are just as guilty as the terrorists; you're an enemy of the United States, and you will be held to account." -Pres. Bush via Blarg

Please, Blarg. You and I both know that a speech to the American Legion does not official policy make. Lets keep the staw men to a minimum.
----
"Jason, I do not understand how the resolution, which I quoted above, facilitates diplomacy, either through the back or front doors. Perhaps I am too naive to get it." -Mark

It's all part of "carrying a big stick." For those of you that seem to have interpreted my words as saying the legislation allowed for talks, I'll restate my point. The legislation can be used in talks as a framework for possible repercussions. The Iranians know that if the UN or NATO gets together on censuring their actions, things will get tough for them. It wouldn't be like Iraq now, it would be like Iraq during Desert Storm. We blow a bunch of crap up and then we leave. They don't want that.

If, and I think it's a big if, Bush uses this legislation to make himself another war then I'll count myself wrong. As wrong as I've ever been about anything. But if we can actually get Iranian assistance (official or otherwise) out of Iraq, then Iraq will have a better chance at stability. And when they have a better chance at stability we can get the heck out of there.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 24, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"Second, we have made it clear to all nations, if you harbor terrorists, you are just as guilty as the terrorists; you're an enemy of the United States, and you will be held to account." -Pres. Bush via Blarg

Please, Blarg. You and I both know that a speech to the American Legion does not official policy make. Lets keep the staw men to a minimum.
----
"Jason, I do not understand how the resolution, which I quoted above, facilitates diplomacy, either through the back or front doors. Perhaps I am too naive to get it." -Mark

It's all part of "carrying a big stick." For those of you that seem to have interpreted my words as saying the legislation allowed for talks, I'll restate my point. The legislation can be used in talks as a framework for possible repercussions. The Iranians know that if the UN or NATO gets together on censuring their actions, things will get tough for them. It wouldn't be like Iraq now, it would be like Iraq during Desert Storm. We blow a bunch of sh*t up and then we leave. They don't want that.

If, and I think it's a big if, Bush uses this legislation to make himself another war then I'll count myself wrong. As wrong as I've ever been about anything. But if we can actually get Iranian assistance (official or otherwise) out of Iraq, then Iraq will have a better chance at stability. And when they have a better chance at stability we can get the h*ll out of there.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 24, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

CC - I have to take issue with your statement today: "As always, the most insightful, on-topic comments will be featured in a post of their own later this week".

What is this "as always" b.s.? Three out of the last five Wag-the-Blogs have not had a "redux" or follow up at all going back to August. At least have the courage to admit that you may decide later not to feature any of the insightful comments, and spare us the effort as it appears you have spared yourself.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | October 24, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"Second, we have made it clear to all nations, if you harbor terrorists, you are just as guilty as the terrorists; you're an enemy of the United States, and you will be held to account." -Pres. Bush via Blarg

Please, Blarg. You and I both know that a speech to the American Legion does not official policy make. Lets keep the staw men to a minimum.
----
"Jason, I do not understand how the resolution, which I quoted above, facilitates diplomacy, either through the back or front doors. Perhaps I am too naive to get it." -Mark

It's all part of "carrying a big stick." For those of you that seem to have interpreted my words as saying the legislation allowed for talks, I'll restate my point. The legislation can be used in talks as a framework for possible repercussions. The Iranians know that if the UN or NATO gets together on censuring their actions, things will get tough for them. It wouldn't be like Iraq now, it would be like Iraq during Desert Storm. We blow a bunch of sh*t up and then we leave. They don't want that.

If, and I think it's a big if, Bush uses this legislation to make himself another war then I'll count myself wrong. As wrong as I've ever been about anything. But if we can actually get Iranian assistance (official or otherwise) out of Iraq, then Iraq will have a better chance at stability. And when they have a better chance at stability we can get the h*ll out of there.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 24, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

This won't be earth shaking politically, but this could end up helping Obama gain some ground. He's been endlessly beating the drum on who voted how in 2002, and that issue has grown less relevant and become old news. Many in the party want a candidate more dovish than Clinton, but were perhaps sensing that she's moving in that direction. Leveraging Clinton's vote as stepped up hostility toward another tragically unwise foreign policy misadventure (which is what this resolution does) could chip away at some of her supporters, few of whom seem to be die-hards.

Posted by: steimelkb | October 24, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Given the nature of that song, I fear that Senator Clinton is representative of Dem primary voters. I will now honor the moment by listening to the full 8 minute 30 second version.

"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

Posted by: bsimon | October 24, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

"Does Clinton look defensive or simply savvy to shore up a potential weak spot? Is Obama desperately looking for any chance to close the polling gap or smartly taking advantage of a rare Clinton gaffe?"

Respectively, yes, yes, yes, and yes.

Clinton bashers will say this points up a huge weakness in her candidacy/policies/positions. Clinton supporters will argue it demonstrates her in depth knowlege of issues, horsetrading, and "how to get things done."

Obama's opposition will cite this as a last gasp of a failed candidate, while his supporters will argue it shows his character, etc.

All in all- no net impact, unless the saga of US-Iran relations changes markedly, for better or worse. At that point, the second guessing will be the important thing.

Posted by: jhherring | October 24, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Senator Clinton has defended her 2002 vote by claiming that it was a resolution designed to enable the President to force Saddam into a diplomatic solution to the WMD standoff. Since then, President Bush has said "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice... we won't get fooled again." Senator Clinton has been fooled again.

Posted by: bsimon | October 24, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

JD, at best you are being disingenuouis, at worst you are out and out lying. I will assume that you are just plain ignorant. The legislation used to renew the H1-B visas explicitly contain provisions to *extend* the length of those work visas where the H1-B alien worker is working on a defense contract. Furthermore, even prior to that 2001 legislation, companies had H1-B and L-1 visa workers performing work on even top secret defense contracts. Moreover, last yeqr alone, there were more than 5000 active investigations of espionage by H1-B workers. Moreover, anyone can read newspaper and network news accounts of Indian gangs having stole the plans for the B1 and B2 bombers, the F117A stealth fighter, and the anti-aircraft technology developed to defeat that technology.

You *claim* to work for the DOD. Having worked in intelligence in the past, I highly doubt that. Based on your post, it is more likely that you supply H1-B workers for for the high tech industry. To begin with with, L-1 visa employees pay ***NO** taxes whatsoever. H1-B workers make an average of $13,000 a year less than their U.S. counterparts. As they are foreign guest workers, many pay absolutely no U.S. taxes, only taxes to their country of origin. (E.G. - they literally have a choice as to where they pay taxes and over half pay them to their resident country.) Moreover, when they bring in their dependents, during their stay, those dependents do not generally receive U.S. work permits, but they use our social services, schools, hospitals (most do not have medical insurance), etc. One recent estimate is that the average H1-B worker is U.S. taxpayer subsidized at more than $40,000 a year. That's a pretty outrageous amount of corporate welfare!

Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 24, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

The point is, Hillary Clinton isn't just a shallow idiot, she is dangerous fool, attempting to play cowboys and Indians with Bush. Her Iranian vote was all the cover Bush needs to use military force in Iran, something she full well knows based on the JR49. At the same time, she is appeasing her Jewish-Israeli constituency from New York, just in case her Presidential bid fails. The main point, however, that everyone here seems to miss, is that Clinton, Kennedy, Richardson, Dodd, Romney, Guliani, Bush, Cheney, **ALL** of the free traitors up there is Washington created this mess. They are still dancing to the tune of their corporate sponsors, trying to "stay the course" on the disasterous road called globalization, where companies sell anything, do anything, for quick buck, and damn the consequences.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 24, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

philipharold may have nailed this at 12:07P.

Naked "elect ME" politics, no-nevermind for good government.

Jason, I do not understand how the resolution, which I quoted above, facilitates diplomacy, either through the back or front doors. Perhaps I am too naive to get it.

I like McCain, which is no secret to anyone here, so this vote does not make or break anyone for me. I think Hagel and Lugar had the better side on this vote, of course, and I think McCain is too trusting of Cheney when he of all people should no better.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 24, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Mibrooks, how did foreign nationals get access to classified information? I'm in that business (DOD contracting), so I'm a little confused about that.

As for H1Bs, if the two choices are bring in engineers, scientists, and others from oversees to work for American companies, pay American taxes, and live in America, vs outsource it offshore to get the work done by foreign companies... which would you pick? Obviously the best option is to get American citizens to do the work, but that's not always possible - our unemployment in IT/Gov here outside DC is 2%.

Posted by: JD | October 24, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

For those who say that the legislation allows for negotiations, here is a quick update: YOU DO NOT NEED LEGISLATION TO NEGOTIATE. You need to communicate, and that is a pretty simple thing to do. Talking and listening, things you learn BEFORE kindergarten. And what good does it do to provide a "framework for back door negotiations (which we all know are going on) and negotiation in '09 with the new President" if we go to war with the current President? I do not see the logic here.

And if the administration keeps on escalating their rhetoric, war will become more inevitable. And that will hurt Hillary.

Posted by: mcmahon10 | October 24, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

You know how the saying goes:

Once you have to explain your vote, you've already lost.

Posted by: JD | October 24, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

President Bush, August 31, 2006:
"Second, we have made it clear to all nations, if you harbor terrorists, you are just as guilty as the terrorists; you're an enemy of the United States, and you will be held to account."
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/08/20060831-1.html

So the bill does say that Iran is a terrorist nation. Because if an official branch of their government is a terrorist agency, that makes the whole nation just as guilty as the terrorists. It officially says that we're enemies of Iran, and will hold them to account. You can argue that's not what Hillary meant when she voted for the bill, but it's certainly how Bush is going to interpret it.

Posted by: Blarg | October 24, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I should also add that for ANY democrat to support a bill written by KYl and LIEBERMAN, for godsake, is total idiocy. Lieberman is nothing but Dick Cheney's personal handmaiden and henchman--and is panting to blow Iran off the map.

So for those who thinnk 'liberals' will vote for her no matter what, think again. She better start getting the message that a lot of us may sit this out if she is the nominee [unless the R nom is rudy the fascist] then I WILL have to hold my nos and vote fo the lesser of two evils.

Posted by: drindl | October 24, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I'll ask again if any of you watched "Frontline" last night. The missed opportunities for helping our friends in Iran and in fact, the policies that cut off their legs, appear legion.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 24, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh, please, let's debate Iran. The Iranian Air Force now has some of the most advanced fighter bombers in the world. The planes and the technology were sold to them by China. The planes are based on Israel's Lavi fighter, which is an advanced version of our front line F14 fighter! Israel *sold* that plane and the technology to China. Also, the plans and technology for our AWAC's systems. The Indian's, our other earstwhile ally, sold Iran the plans for our latest antiaircraft missile system and antisubmarine missile system. The Russian's sold Iran an antiaircraft system that defeats our latest stealth technology, stole by Indian H1-B workers working on defense contracts and sold to Russia. Yes, indeed, let's debate about Iran! An, let's debate how globalization, treasonous corporate activities, and especially the H1-B program have created the most dangerous and widest security breach this country has ever faced. Then, when you get a little time, write to Senator Kennedy and Senator Clinton and thank them for their rabid support for the H1-B program, for the millions of dollars they have received from companies using that program to displace American workers with cheap foreign workers (often, literally spies).

Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 24, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

The White House, especially Cheney, is champing at the bit to attack Iran to settle old scores, while jihadists in nuclear-armed and unstable Pakistan grow stronger daily.

Hillary's support of these machinations will come back to haunt and hurt her campaign when they pull the trigger on Iran. The consequences will be the Iraq disaster on steriods! And, a destabalized Pakistan will still have nukes.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth_Hunter | October 24, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

'You my friend, have never lost a friend to an Iranian-made IED.'

I have yet to see a single shred of evidence supporting this, other than quotes from a couple of active duty military officers who don't have much choice but to go along with the administration's agenda, which is clearly regime change in Iran. Israel and the neocons have been pushing this since day one, and there was recently an intenral strategy document published online that stated the admin was switching gears [from talking about the Iranian nuclear program to proclaiming Iran was supply IED's in Iraq] as a rationale for bombing Iran. There have been several IED factories discovered in the area around Baghdad.

This is not a 'debate' CC -- this is simply yet another unncessary war getting shoved down our throats, and I feel sorry for you if your gullible enough to bleieve another packs of lies.

Israel is an important constinuency for Hillary [and of couorse she does want to look tough]. You notice Obama didn't vote no on the resolution, either. Just skipped it. I heard Biden voted no and if that's true, I commend him, because the bill was pointless sabre rattling.

Posted by: drindl | October 24, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"Should be: Jason - . Jason did not vote with Webb, Hagel, Lugar, and Biden on this." -Mark

That you know of...
----
"Jason, if the purpose of the bill was to allow the next president to negotiate with Iran, what's the point of passing it now? And how does calling Iran a terrorist nation make it easier to negotiate with them?" -Blarg

Passing it now allows its use in backdoor negotiations. It may have had some use in reducing the import of Iranian IED's.

It doesn't say that Iran is a terrorist nation, merely that an official branch of their government is involved with terrorist activities, directly or indirectly. Various branches of OUR government have been involved with illegal activities from time to time, too.

I just think that calling this a de facto declaration of war or even just combat activities outside of the borders of Iraq is reaching.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 24, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Although I am an Obama supporter in the primary, I believe that Clinton has the upper hand in this argument. Obama cannot sayhe was opposed to the Iran Amendment if he was not there to vote against it. What if the amendment had only passed by one vote?

The Clinton campaign was smart to pre-empt the Obama Iowa postcard by putting her decision on the resolution into context, especially citing the only other senator to endorse Obama's candidacy in her pamphlet to reinforce her thought process on the vote.

Posted by: yank1082 | October 24, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

USMC-Mike

qzqzqz asked when was the last time Iran INVADED another country. Even if one were to accept that Iranian IEDs are being used in Iraq, it hardly makes Iran an invader. The locals have a right to fight the US invaders. Only in Israeli-American world can retaliation be called terrorism and oppresion of invaders be called 'act of freedom. Have the IEDs killed 600,000. Perhaps the death of Iraqis is just a number for you.

Have you my friend lost any one to blackwater/ US military insensible firing?

Posted by: salabunder | October 24, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

USMC-Mike writes:

"You my friend, have never lost a friend to an Iranian-made IED."

Your beef is with the people who sent your friend to accomplish the things in Iraq that I listed. These people got what they wanted --- Bush got re-elected, Cheney got the French and Russian oil companies ejected so that his friends will make billions from Iraqi oil, Wolfowitz, Perle, Libby, Abrams etc got the largest Arab army destroyed without a single Israeli being hurt and are now pushing for Iraq to get divided into small countries. What did your friend get?

Posted by: MillsLover | October 24, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I think Hillary's vote for Lieberman's Iran resolution shows a breath-taking lack of common sense! She can argue up and down about being fooled on the Iraq resolution, but this evokes "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." Shame on you, Hillary Clinton!

Bush and Cheney have zero interest in negotiations with Iran, and this resolution was simply laying the groundwork for justifying invasion, and being able to shut up the Senate when they do it by pointing to their vote.

Any Democrat -- or any Senator who has misgivings about the Iraq War period -- who voted for this Iran resolution is showing remarkably poor judgment, especially those who are wanting us to entrust them with the highest office in the land.

Posted by: bennie.c.smith | October 24, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Jason, if the purpose of the bill was to allow the next president to negotiate with Iran, what's the point of passing it now? And how does calling Iran a terrorist nation make it easier to negotiate with them?

Mike, where do you get the idea that left-wing Democrats call Hillary "liberal enough"? She has very little support among liberals, as she's the one of most conservative Democratic candidates. I see liberals attack her all the time for being a pro-corporate hawk. Do you actually spend any time among liberals, or do you just guess what they think?

Posted by: Blarg | October 24, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

This is definitely an opening for Obama in my opinion. Hillary has to be hawkish on military issues for the sake of the general election. Being a woman running for Commander in Chief, she absolutely cannot give ground on supporting the military. We could very well bomb Iran before the end of Bush's term, and the rally-around-the-flag effect could swing things in an unpredictable way. Hillary needs the option of supporting an Iran bombing if it comes to that. Hillary cannot look weak. She cannot be portrayed as an anti-military liberal. She really had no choice on the vote.

Posted by: philipharold | October 24, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Given that Obama was MIA for the IRG vote, as well as his April 2007 co-sponsorship of a bill that would have also declared the IRG as terrorists, Obama is on the losing end of this argument.

Big! Time!

Further, I think the Clinton's want to draw attention to this matter, which is why they did the mailing.

Imagine, if you will, a professional couple returning home after work.

The wife starts dinner and throws in a load of laundry while the husband hits the Lazy-Boy and reads the paper.

Then, while the wife is busy running a quick vacuum, the husband looks over the top of his newspaper and says, "Honey, you missed a spot!".

Obama thinks it's OK to sit on his butt during the tough votes and then criticize those who at least showed up and took a stand. It ain't!

Posted by: JoeCHI | October 24, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

qzqzqzqz writes:

"BTW can anybody running for President tell us the last time Iran invaded another country. My meager knowledge of history says late 18th Century."

You my friend, have never lost a friend to an Iranian-made IED.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | October 24, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Hillary's vote was not bright for one reason - her candidacy can take a real blow if bush attacks Iran at any time between now and Nov. '08.

During primary season she can be whacked by a democratic challenger for "voting for war with Iran" if that's when the attack happens. and after that - by the republican challenger should he decide that it's time to tack from Hard Right back to center.

Either way, she takes a knock.

Posted by: mpilon | October 24, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Should be: Jason - . Jason did not vote with Webb, Hagel, Lugar, and Biden on this.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 24, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

HRC did not make a mistake. Her percieved "inevitability" has allowed her to attempt to appear more and more moderate. Her real message to Iowa voters was reassurance that she knows exactly what she is doing.

Obama thinks he can beat her by moving further and further to the left of her. Unfortunately for him, he has not yet realized that it won't take away liberal votes from her. This is because left wing Democrats trust HRC as "liberal enough", and are willing to allow her some breathing room in convincing the rest of us that she is a moderate worth electing.

The time for proving how liberal you are in the Democratic Primary has already past - and Hillary has shifted into general election mode. Obama just hasn't yet caught on.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | October 24, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Jason, Webb, Hagel, Lugar and Biden voted "No." Here is what the crux of the Resolution says:
-------------------------------------
(3) that it should be the policy of the United States to combat, contain, and roll back the violent activities and destabilizing influence inside Iraq of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, its foreign facilitators such as Lebanese Hezbollah, and its indigenous Iraqi proxies;

(4) to support the prudent and calibrated use of all instruments of United States national power in Iraq, including diplomatic, economic, intelligence, and military instruments, in support of the policy described in paragraph (3) with respect to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its proxies;

(5) that the United States should designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a foreign terrorist organization...
-----------------------
It is an invitation to combat Iran with military instruments. This Administration may correctly point to the exact language of this Resolution as another Gulf of Tonkin type authorization.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 24, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Clinton's vote on Iran may be a primary vulnerability (I hope so, in this one rare case I prefer the boys), but it hardly seems like a "gaffe".

Posted by: light_bearer | October 24, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Why are journalists so concerned with strategic advantages for presidential candidates, when war with Iran is a very serious issue?

Let's see, we have absolutely destroyed Iraq, gotten hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed, created millions of refugees, annihilated the educated middle-class which was the best hope for progress, armed the most regressive religious and tribal leaders, and started a civil war. Now that that is accomplished, obviously it is time to do the same to Iran. Of course AIPAC has nothing to do with this just as they had nothing to do with the Iraq war, and in any case why would Hillary Clinton ever listen to AIPAC.

BTW can anybody running for President tell us the last time Iran invaded another country. My meager knowledge of history says late 18th Century.

As somebody who thinks nuclear arms are too dangerous in any hands, I would like to know why journalists don't ask the people running for President if they support the resolution for a nuclear-free Middle East (The U.S. has voted against this resolution repeatedly?

Posted by: MillsLover | October 24, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I might have to disagree with you guys on this one.

I think that the vote was a good one, with the objectionable measures gone. Blarg, THIS president might not be known for negotiating but this legislation provides a framework for back door negotiations (which we all know are going on) and negotiation in '09 with the new President.

Say what you will, but from what I've been hearing it sounds like fewer Iranian IED's (the penetrators that have proved so deadly) are in Iraq.

Maybe, just maybe, this bill had a measurable effect and I don't think we can discount that.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 24, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Biden called HRC's vote "mindless". If you watched "Frontline" last night you will understand exactly why "mindless" fits, and why HRC has no cover on this vote.

One vote does not a fool make, of course; but this is one for which she deserves no quarter.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 24, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Hillary is definitely playing on the defensive right now. She has done an amazing job of defusing her 2002 Iraq vote which was her major problem. That vote is a scab that can potentially open up when compared to her Iran vote. By her general elecion strategy, the scab will not get a chance to heal until she wraps up the nomination.

Obama is smartly picking at that scab. If there is one thing that the caucus goers fear, it is another Iraq; and that is exactly what they see in a potential war with Iran. The caucus goers also do not trust Bush. Hillary claims that she didn't think Bush would use the 2002 vote to take the country to war. Now she should know better. This is seen by many as giving Bush the chance.

Obama's and Edwards rhetoric against Hillary's vote is the biggest threat to her nomination. She has to respond or the bleeding will be profuse.

Posted by: mcmahon10 | October 24, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Hillary said that her vote pushes the president to "get Iran to the negotiating table". This could mean one of two things:

1. She made the vote because she really wants to pressure Iran. She knows that Bush has no interest in negotiating with Iran; that's just her excuse to cover up another hawkish vote.
2. She's a complete and total idiot. Bush isn't known for negotiating with ANYONE, especially not countries he's repeatedly called evil terrorists. And she thinks that this vote will get Bush to negotiate with Iran?

I don't necessarily disagree with Hillary's vote. The really objectionable sections of the bill were removed. I don't know much about the bill, so maybe she made the right call. But her explanation for her vote is absolutely heinous. It means she's either a liar or a fool. And either way, it means she shouldn't be president.

Posted by: Blarg | October 24, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company